Jan 18, 2017

Where Obama made news in his last press conference

Pablo Martinez / AP

The big talkers: His family, the Israel-Palestine issue and race relations in America. He also addressed recent policy decisions on Cuba, Chelsea Manning, Russia and voter rights.

Play-by-play under the fold.

  1. Obama explained commuting Chelsea Manning's sentence: "I feel very comfortable that justice has been served."
  2. He delivered a diss against WikiLeaks: "I haven't commented on WikiLeaks ... I don't pay a lot of attention to Mr. Assange's tweets, so that wasn't a consideration in this instance."
  3. He expressed grave concern about Russia under Putin: He said the two nations have "returned to the adversarial relationship that existed during the Cold War."
  4. Reacted to Democrats boycotting Trump's inauguration: "I'm not going to comment on those issues. All I know is I'll be there, as will Michelle."
  5. Expanded on his plans after the White House: "I want to do some writing. I want to be quiet a little bit and not hear myself talk so darn much. I wanna spend precious time with my girls. Those are my priorities this year."
  6. Rattled off issues that could get him to break his silence on Trump: Systematic discrimination, voter suppression, efforts to silence the press and deportation of DREAMers.
  7. Explained his reasoning for ending the "wet foot, dry foot" policy on Cuba: "A carry over of a old way of thinking that didn't make sense between our two countries."
  8. He delivered a final warning on Israel: "[T]he status quo is unsustainable, it is dangerous for Israel... bad for America's national security." Obama warned the moment for a deal may be nearing its end.
  9. Downplayed his role in advances for the LGBTQ movement: "[T]he primary heroes in this stage of our growth as a democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said this is who I am and I'm proud of it."
  10. Said the issue of voter fraud is "fake news": Obama said the U.S. has an "ugly history" that "traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery." He added that the problem isn't fraud, but suppression of votes.
  11. Opened up about his family: Obama said his daughters don't intend on entering politics. He added they see America as "flawed," but are patriotic and have a deep love for their country. "They don't mope," he added.
  12. Offered a dark thought: "Tragic things happen. I believe there's evil in the world."
  13. And left with a final, less depressing, takeaway: "At my core, I think we're going to be ok. We just have to fight for it. We just have to work for it."
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